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History of Temuco

Temuco was founded on February 24, 1881, on a privileged site between the Cautín river and the Cerro Ñielol. Minister Manuel Recabarren was responsible for creating the fort named Recabarren or Temuco.

Born out of military necessity, Temuco was more like a camp to start with, but a year after it was founded the streets which today form the busy center of the Regional capital were already taking form. The large, varied group of men and women who undertook the construction of the city could never have imagined the dizzying growth of Temuco, which began to become apparent within a few years.

Shortly afterwards, on April 15, 1888, the authorities who made up the first municipal government were elected, with José del Rosario Muñoz as Mayor. The multi-ethnic composition of the city reflects not only the high percentage of Mapuches in the population but also the arrival of large numbers of French and German settlers.

The rapid growth of the population of Temuco became apparent within a few years; in 1895 a census established the population at 7,708 persons, and when the province of Cautín was created and Temuco became its capital this figure had risen to 16,037 inhabitants.

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